Neosho's Randy Cope is officially the top man at Liberty Group Publishing. At least he will be one of two who will share that position.
The announcement was made today, along with the announcement that the purchase of Liberty by Fortress Investment Group LLC has been finalized. The move had previously been publicized in the Daily, with the announcement that Rick Rogers had been promoted to the publisher position, and in Editor & Publisher, a newspaper industry trade publication.
Cope, the former publisher of The Neosho Daily News, will serve as co-president and co-chief operating officer of Liberty with Scott Champion. Cope and Champion have served as regional managers for Liberty.
Former Liberty CEO Ken Serota has stepped down, but will continue to serve the company as as an advisor.
The changes put Cope and Champion in charge of a company that has more daily newspapers, 66 at last count, than all but two companies, Gannett, owner of the Springfield News-Leader, which has 101 and Community Newspaper Holdings, owners of the Joplin Globe, which has 89.
Liberty also owns The Carthage Press, the Big Nickel, the Neosho Post, the Greenfield Vedette, and The Miller Press in this area.